Friday, 22 July 2016

Celebration - Dead Bodies Massacre

Ready for another part of Polish Metal Classics? Well, Thrashing Madness is always doing fantastic job with this series, and it’s no different this time. And this time they decided to bring Celebration back from the crypt! This was rather short lived band, which was formed in 1990 and split up only year later, but managed to record three demos in this time. This double CD set brings us two of these demos: “Beyond the Grave” (1990) and “Dead Bodies Massacre” (1991), the latter is presented in two versions, one of which was never released before. Additionally, you’ll find here some live and rehearsal recordings, as well as a short rehearsal recording from 1987 of band called Szafot, in which Kacper (Celebration’s vocalist and guitarist) was playing in late 80’s. If you happened to see previous releases of Polish Metal Classics, then I don’t need to say how great quality releases are they. The booklet is excellent, featuring a lot of archival photographs, lyrics and in depth interview with Kacper. It looks just killer and the whole presentation is perfect, in my opinion.
I have to say that I was never a big fan of Celebration demos, but despite that I felt a lot of pleasure to listen to this CD. Surprisingly I still like “Beyond the Grave” demo the most. I don’t even know why… but maybe it’s because it reminds me some Swedish bands so much? Like for example you can surely find some similarities to Toxaemia, Therion, Nihilist, Grave demos and so on… There are some killer songs like “Sanctuary”, which is probably the best song Celebration ever did, “Suicide” or the title track. Sure, this demo sounds terribly archaic and harsh these days, you can hear many fuck ups and bad instrumentation on it – for example I just can’t say enough how bad does that short clean guitar piece sounds in the title song… but despite all that, I just like it a lot. I like the vocals with that reverb they have, I like these raw sounding, heavy guitars and so on. Great stuff.
“Dead Bodies Massacre” is obviously also pretty cool, I have to say that I’m really happy to have it on CD with proper quality. It will not be your best demo of all time, but a solid archaic death metal recorded in the days when I was watching Italia 1990. Definitely this demo sounds much better on CD version than on my old cassette, so I have admit that I almost felt like I was rediscovering this demo again. Oh yeah, there are some really great riffs, some very nice songs like “Lobotomy”. “Dead Bodies Massacre” surely sounds more tight and faster than “Beyond the Grave”, it is really straight forward and aggressive stuff. I’m very glad to hear this demo in two versions, because the one which was unreleased before sounds also awesome, maybe even better? Hmm, I guess I like the vocals much more on this unreleased version, while the music itself sounds more savage and aggressive on the original mix. Great stuff anyway.

Last thing I need to write about are all those live or rehearsal recordings. I’m always sceptical towards them, because usually they sound just very bad and for me are like a unnecessary addition. I just don’t need something what is unlistenable. In case of these Celebration recordings it’s not terrible. Two live songs (one of which is Venom cover) are very OK and give you a small idea what were the gigs like nearly 30 years ago. The 1990 reh sounds better than many official demos from that era, so it’s also cool. All in all, I think that this is one of the best Polish Metal Classics releases so far.

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